The Life

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.   John 8:12 NIV

An elderly gentleman was standing on a sandy beach. He was watching the sun set. Passing by and stopping for a moment I said, “Isn’t it a beautiful sunset?” The elderly man nodded agreeably and said…

“For someone my age it might seem like a sunset. But not for me; you see, it’s a sunrise! I once lived in the darkness of life, blinded by deception, lost, confused and alone. I was afraid then and stumbled about with no purpose and no dawn to begin anew each day. After coming to Christ, my life changed and now every sunrise and sunset is a reminder of an incredible miracle, the opportunity to walk in light.”

He went on to say, “Though I have lived through some stormy days since then, life at this moment is overflowing with a peaceful glow. That glow is the afterglow from the resurrected Christ who abides in me, my risen Lord and Savior!” Of course, he was right about his new life. Life for him, at that moment, was the light of Christ aglow in his heart. Of this radiant reality Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

The story of the resurrection is well-established in western culture. This story is faithfully preached every Easter here at home and around the world. Most people know about it but fewer yet celebrate the resurrection with such persuasive conviction, as did this older gentleman.

All those called—to walk with Christ and live—know about the resurrection account. It is a new beginning for us. No need to review what so many already know. Volumes have been written about the cross and resurrection and we celebrate the many unique perspectives of the risen Lord.

About this perspective Pastor David DePra writes:

“I think though, there are at times an over emphasis upon the death of Christ, to the exclusion of the Resurrection, because His death speaks to our sin and our need to be right with God.

We have to contend with sin every day and most of us don’t feel right with God. So we keep going back to His death.  This is perfectly fine – but not if we leave it there.  A Christianity that focuses solely upon the death of Jesus Christ is not the Truth.  After all, Christianity is new life in Christ.” [1]

DePra is right! John Calvin foresaw the same over-emphasis centuries earlier and during his time wrote, “The Cross of Christ only triumphs in the breast of believers over the devil and the flesh, sin and sinners, when their eyes are directed to the power of His Resurrection.” [2]

To focus on the work of the cross to the mere mention of the resurrection is akin to looking upon a Rembrandt painting in black and white. . Surely, we must look at both works of Christ as one, eternal work.

About this work, the apostle Paul penned a verse of notable mention:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1–4).

Is the same power that raised Jesus from dead the one the older gentlemen sensed while watching the sunset on the Pacific Ocean? Did he hear the Spirit whisper the likeness of the sunrise to the resurrection during that moment of tranquil, prayerful reflection?

The Spirit might have; but, here’s the thing: The resurrection is about not staying put. No one touched by the Savior stays put. They change. About this change Clarence W. Hall writes:

“The Resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a Cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!” [3]

And so the promise of eternal life lives on and on in Christ. It is the indisputable truth believers embrace (Romans 10:9–10). So then, we may look upon John 3:16 as a promise kept by the Father.

In closing, the Lord Jesus is the light and the sunrise in every believer’s heart. He is an awesome being, full of truth and life. He is a beautiful person, all together lovely. He is a wonder to behold and a blessing to possess. He is infinite splendor and power and glory! He is a friend. He is Savior. He is Lord. Who can define him? Who can imagine him? Who can know the dimensions of his wonder and depth of his loving kindness?

As the apostle Paul said, we see dimly through a dark glass (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our gaze is upon a loving being we can barely behold in the dawn of light. His promise to every true heart is: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).

Part 7 – The Change

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Image Credit: Pending

[1] Pastor David DePra – The Good News

[2] Forty Quotes about the Resurrection

[3] Ibid.

Got Questions – Why is the Resurrection Important?

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